Back home they used to call it the “Macy Day Parade.” You know the drill: big cartoon balloons, floats, bands, rock stars, Santa, 12- trillion cops, 50- trillion fidgeting kids straining to see the action. And you can’t get there from here… no matter which “there” you seek and which “here” is your starting point.
Of course it’s not “Macy Day,” it’s Thanksgiving day, the day that marks the voyage of the pilgrims seeking freedom of their religion and to deprive everyone else of theirs.
Snoopy and Mickey were still centuries in the future, as was Macy’s. And it was centuries before the Shinnecock tribe had to remind people that the golf course was named after them, not the other way around.
There are three days each year when it is totally stupid to be in Manhattan: New Year’s Eve, July 4th and tomorrow, Thanksgiving Day. Even people who live there wish they didn’t.
The entire population of Ohio will be on Broadway. Except the few who end up at your house. Some of them without forewarning.
In former years, Thanksgiving Day was the unofficial start of the year-end holiday season. That’s why Santa brings up the rear of the parade. Now of course the unofficial start of the holiday season is in September and only because they haven’t figured out a way to start it in August. Yet.
It’s still a time for family get togethers. The grandparents, parents, children, grandchildren, uncles aunts and cousins will all gather in one place for the greatest of unsung traditions: arguments fueled by Aunt Ivy’s Special Cocktail, two gallons of which she will have brought with her. When everyone’s out of that fuel, they’ll lubricate with what’s left of the keg the college age kids will have brought along, along with their current significant others.
Same sex couples will be segregated at what used to be called “the children’s table,” but now known as the gay buffet. Around this will orbit various other relatives, some of whom will be there to pretend a show of approval while others will be there to scowl.
Uncle Hemlock and uncle Foxglove -- brothers -- will square off on the 2016 presidential election, Hemmy on the conservative side and Foxy on the progressive. Meantime knots of supporters will form around each and no one will be paying attention to what is going on in the kitchen, which is general inattentiveness.
After dinner, with about 30% of the revelers passed out on someone else’s easy chair or “my spot on the couch” the remaining people will vie for the right to be rejected as cleanup helpers.
So there are many things for which to be thankful but also important things to be thankful one doesn’t have. And high are the latter list: No having switched to Windows 10 and not being anywhere near Broadway for the parade.
-There’s always one relative who has the nerve to specify “all white meat” when offered leftovers to go.
-Aunt Ivy will be insulted if there’s any of her cocktail left and insulted if there’s none for her to take home.
-Someone will leave a cell phone behind and you won’t be able to tell whose it is.
-Someone will leave a cell phone behind and -- not that you’re nosy or anything -- but you will disapprove of “those pictures.”
-Count the silverware.
I’m Wes Richards. My opinions are my own but you’re welcome to them. ®
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© WJR 2015